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Community health centers serve over 28 million Americans in areas or populations underserved by medical care, and are one of the most valuable, effective tools we have in managing our nation's health care. Operated under the Health Center Program of the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), these clinics provide access to primary care by removing the barriers related to cost, geographics, location, and culture.
So what makes a community health center different from other care clinics? Health centers are largely about accessibility: increasing access to primary care by removing barriers to it. Health centers are community-based and patient-directed, helping to deliver quality health care despite economic, geographic, cultural, or linguistic barriers to it.
Community Health Centers:
Some of the most vulnerable populations in America are served by health centers. Over 28 million people, or 1 in 12 Americans, rely on a health-center for primary care. This includes:
The number of patients at health centers has risen to 28.3 million in 2018 (the most recent year we data for) from 9.6 million in 2000. That means the number of patients has nearly tripled in less than two decades!
Health centers account for one-quarter of all primary care visits for the lower-income population in America.
Aside from helping underserved populations increase access to quality health care, community health centers also improve health outcomes above the national average for people with their conditions. In 2018:
Health centers are cost effective. By focusing on primary and preventative care and increasing access to that care among lower-income populations, health centers generate $24 billion in annual medical savings.
Health centers identify the needs of their community and work to reduce disparities in health care between different populations. This is done with:
Become an advocate! Join the Health Center Advocacy Network for ideas and updates on how you can aid the mission of health centers through political engagement and spreading awareness.
Community health helps support and improve our healthcare system, and so does offering quality medical supplies at affordable prices. That's why Mountainside Medical Equipment offers the best supplies for doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals at wholesale prices. Visit us today!